It’s Still Trespassing
News broke this week of four (4) people breaking into a Minnesota church searching for ghosts. In order to get in, the group broke windows and a sculpture. Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze admits that “alcohol played a role in their poor decision.” Alcohol, however, will not be a proper defense when they are arraigned for burglary and criminal damage to property. Let this be a lesson to all thrill seekers: Trespass is illegal.
Police officers responded to an alarm at 1:45 a.m. Sunday, May 17th at the Ness Church located in rural Litchfield, Minnesota. The thrill-seeking “ghost hunters” included Todd Suurmeyer, Joseph Porter, and Brittani Roberts, of Sioux Falls, and Kyle Huber, of Victoria, Minnesota. The three men appeared in court on Tuesday. The female, Brittani Roberts, was released pending an investigation. An investigation is on-going to determine whether anything was stolen.
Unfortunately, the group decided to break into the historic church because of an urban legend that the church was haunted. The location has historic significance; the first five (5) victims of the Dakota War of 1862 are buried on the property. Also known as the “Sioux Uprising,” the war pitted the U.S. Army against the Sioux Indian Tribe. It lasted from August 17, 1862 until the mass execution of thirty-eight (38) Dakota men on December 26, 1862. The war greatly impacted the state’s history.
Church officials deny that the church is haunted; however, the church is frequently targeted by vandals. Preservation of history should remain paramount over ghost hunting.